Federal Land Handed to the Fossil Fuel Sector
In direct violation of warnings by the International Energy Agency that new oil, gas and coal development should have ceased in 2021, and by UN Secretary General António Guterres that government support for fossil fuel production is “delusional,” the federal U.S. government closed out the second quarter of the year with thousands of acres of federal land on the auction block before oil and gas interests. In total, developers scooped up access to over 70,000 acres of lands held in public trust in Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming for $22 million — which advocates say is a paltry sum when compared with the billions of dollars the climate crisis is estimated to cost annually in association with oil and gas extracted from federal lands.
The transaction comes at the tail end of a month in which one-third of the U.S. was urged to stay indoors amid record-breaking heat, and risks bringing more oil and gas production — a top contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and one of the most water-intensive industries — to some of the hottest and most water-stressed areas in the U.S.
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